This year has been all about me trying new things. I’ve developed a knack for cooking and now I’ve picked up a crafty thing. I normally hate crafting. Don’t get me near a needle and thread or a sewing machine, I’ll just break it. And scrap booking is of the devil (sorry y’all, but it is).
Quilling has been around for a really long time. Back in the day when monks and nuns had to hand write every copy of the Bible, there would be these long strips of gold edged paper that would be trimmed off the books. Some inventive lady decided to take those strips of paper, roll them up into little shapes and use them to decorate furniture and boxes and things. Since then, quilling has evolved and now people decorate cards, make dolls and even jewelry out of thin strips of paper. It’s a very versatile craft.
And now I’ve started doing it. I love it as an art form. Some of the pieces I’ve seen are amazing. Just Google paper quilling and you’ll see what I mean. I love how you can make anything with it. If you can draw it on paper, you can make out of paper as well. Also, it’s super easy to do because you probably have all the materials you need at home.
Thin strips of paper? Check. Just cut up any colorful paper you have. Printer paper, construction paper, magazines. The strips just need to be even. Something to curl the paper around? A toothpick works just fine. Part of the reason this is called quilling is because they used to use the tips of their quill pens to roll up the paper. Glue? Who doesn’t have some white glue laying around? And tweezers? Again, who doesn’t have one?
See, you’ve got everything you need. Now, I did go out and buy a set of tools and paper and stuff. But that’s because I have some big ideas and the tools are helpful. Like an actual quilling tool to help roll the paper. It’s got a little slot at the tip to hold the paper for you. Plus, I buy pre-cut paper at the store because I can’t cut a straight line to save my life. I got everything I needed at Hobby Lobby.
The first thing I tried with quilling was this card for my brother’s new baby. It was super simple and all I did was copy some pictures I found online. There’s also a lot of tutorials online as well. I won’t write my own here (unless y’all want me to) because there are so many out there. What I will do is talk about the project I’m working on right now.
I’m working on doing my last name, Siemens, in quilled letters. Each letter is going to be the beginning of a word, like “S is for Sea”, “I is for Ink” etc., decorated to match that theme and mounted on it’s own card. Just last night I put the outside of the first S together.
Here’s how you do it:
- Pick a font you want the letter. I went with Ariel because it’s pretty simple. Print out your letter to the size you need. I used 410 so that it would fill out my little 4×5.5in card. Be sure to print the letter nice and dark so that you can see it when you flip you paper over.
- Now, you’ll need something to pin your paper to, Styrofoam works well. Pin your printed letter face down on the work surface so that your looking at your letter backwards.
- Pin the outline of the letter. I used a lot of pins for this S because it’s so curvy. You might not need so much for straighter letters. Press the pins down far enough so they are below the top edge of your paper strips.
- Lay down your paper. With the pins to help guide you and to hold the paper in place, outline the letter and glue your ends together.
- Next you’re going to spread a thin coat of glue along the edge of the paper and quickly place the paper, or whatever, you want the letter mounted on, on the glue. Let it sit and dry for a while.
- Once you’re sure the glue is dry, carefully lift the letter off the pins. If your letter is on it’s final resting place, then you’re done. But I was not. I then had to cut my letter off the excess paper and then glue it to the card.
So that’s what I’m doing with quilling right now. I’ll keep posting pictures as I make more progress. I’ve still got a lot of work to do to finish this project.
Do you have any crafty things that you do? Leave a comment and we can chat! Thanks for reading and have a great rest of your week. 🙂